As many of you know, I’ve been working on my science writing and bringing since into my career as a product developer. I’m so excited to share that over the next few months, one of my favorite biomimicry publications is going to publish a series of pieces I’ve been wanting to write. I’m over the moon excited about this, and as a source of inspiration, I wanted to share how it all came about.
Twitter magic and the glass sponge
I’m pretty active on Twitter where my feed is mashup of different topics, two main ones being my writing and my work in biomimicry. A couple of weeks ago, I learned about the glass sponge for a grad school assignment.
Very quick recap: the glass sponge lives on the ocean floor over 1000 meters below sea level and is one of the oldest species in existence today. It builds one of the the most stable structures on Earth with the minimal amount of material needed. Its glass is transparent, flexible, and created from sea minerals (such as calcium carbonate, salt, and carbon dioxide) at ocean temperatures (~4 degrees Celsius, ~39 degrees Fahrenheit). It is created and then biodegrades without any toxic waste. Human-made glass is extremely fragile, expensive, and dirty to create—glass and cement production generates 5-7% of the Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. It requires very hot temperatures in a kiln and therefore is also energy intensive.
Though we’ve known about the glass sponge for decades, engineers, designers, and scientists have no idea how it creates its glass and we’ve never been able to replicate its far superior product. It’s an absolute mystery. But when we learn its secrets, it has the potential to transform our construction industry into one that’s sustainable, clean, and healthy for the planet.
Power to the crowd
So…back to my writing. I wrote a tweet about the magnificent glass sponge just as part of my regular social media promotion of science and biomimicry. It got a lot of attention and became the 2nd most shared story about biomimicry on Twitter the week I posted it, second only to one my Mashable. That got the attention of this publication, and they asked me if I’d like to write something for them. And heck yes, I would!
What I’ll be writing
They asked me to pitch a topic to them. True to my brand, I gave them 10 pitches hoping there might be one in there that they’d like. To my surprise, they loved them all and asked me to write one a month. So, we’re off the races and here are the first few topics that will be coming out in the next few months:
1. Biomimicry and the Green New Deal (November)
2. Biomimicry and materials science (December)
3. Biomimicry makes the case for species conservation (January)
4. Medical applications of biomimicry (February)
I tell this story because I want it to inspire you to get out there and shout about what you love, what fascinates you, not because you hope it gets you something but just because you love it so much that you can’t keep it to yourself. I’m thrilled by this development in my writing. Shocked even. And even if no one liked the glass sponge tweet, it wouldn’t have mattered because I love it and wanted to share it.
The big publishing take-away
That’s the bit no one ever told me about publishing. In the age when people are obsessed with platform and followers and likes and retweets, too many of us have forgotten about joy. That’s the thing to focus on. That’s the secret sauce that keeps us going. Fill up your head, heart, hands, and feeds with joy, and see what happens. It’s a skeleton key that unlocks doors we didn’t even know were there.
I’m super-excited to take over Young Entertainment Magazine’s Twitter feed today from 2pm – 4pm Eastern. I’ll be talking about my writing journey and my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters. Tune in, ask questions, and hang out with me.
“I promise if you keep searching for everything beautiful in this world, you will eventually become it.” ~Tyler Kent White
Where do you go to find beauty? A museum or gallery? A concert? Nature? Social media?
Wherever you go to seek beauty, I want you to find it and bring it so deeply into your being that you become exactly what you seek. Have a beautiful Monday.
Are you tired of men behaving badly filling up your social media feeds? Me, too. I absolutely believe they need to be called on the carpet for their actions and that their behavior must come to a swift and complete end. I also know that there are incredible women all over the world doing amazing work that needs to be celebrated just as loudly. That’s why I’m making the commitment to send at least one tweet a day to share good news that women are creating. I’ll be using the hashtag #amazingwomen. I hope you’ll join me and spread the word.
My new podcast has its social media pages set up. I’d love to have you follow along. As always, if you have ideas for guests who are either based in or visiting DC for a special project, please let me know.
“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” ~Alan Turing
We can now see further than at any other time in history. Social media, virtual reality, and a news industry that reports in real time through rich media can take us to any corner of the world with a few clicks.
In terms of time, we can only see and know this moment. We can only forecast and hypothesize about later today, tomorrow, next month, and next year. We’ll know how it all shakes out once we get there. For now, let’s just make the most of what we have and know and can do right now, from wherever we are, using whatever we have. If we can all do that, we’ll be able to build a better world together. It all adds up.